March 03 – 10, 2019
Hello saltwater fly fishers,
We had an interesting week pass us here at Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge. This last week we had the pleasure of hosting our dear friends led by Justin Miller of The Fly Shop. This group has been with us from the very beginning when we opened our doors in 2017. We had the misfortune of getting caught in a bureaucratic mess with paperwork issued from the local government, reserve, and preexisting titles. The end result cost us a couple valuable days on the water. Luckily our down time coincided with some terrible weather and the group remained positive and optimistic that things will work themselves out. Chiara and I ran like crazy to enable boats to be on the water and we were able to resume fishing as normal!
Last weeks fishing was fantastic despite missing a couple days on the water. The wind was fairly strong but we had warmer water temps and great visibility for much of our fishing week. This is the groups 3rd year with us and by far their most productive week to date. Permit were the main target and guides were hungry to chase these fish which were showing up in good numbers. We had a couple anglers able to land their first permit and succeeded in landing additional fish. Brian MacDonald’s first permit landed was a beautiful 20 lb. fish and he followed up on the last day going solo on the boat and got another 17 lb. Ken Morando landed a big permit as well for his first and was able to tag two more before the week finished. We saw good numbers of fish on both the south shore and our famed permit flat located on the northern side of the bay. Charles Tyson held the lead for the group landing 4 for the week. I believe that ESB is starting to show its true colors with normal numbers of permit showing up. As winter is slipping away we are having more southern winds and water temps are steadily climbing. Permit are being seen throughout our bay and we will start having more days where anglers can see 50 or more fish a day! The weeks total for the group was 14 landed!
This brings our yearly total to 44 landed permit with 36 guests
A handful of snook were landed throughout the week and tarpon were non existent for the most part. A couple anglers were able to land a few larger bonefish upwards to 4lbs and bigger! Justin Miller landed a beautiful cuda that went 15 lbs. Bill Shaugnessy was gracious to tie up some awesome cuda flies and share them with the group. He left a few with the lodge and they went out with guides today for more “field testing”!
Weather for much of the week was nice with a good amount of sunshine. Wind speeds were normal for this time of year clocking around 10-15 mph. Wind direction hailed from the southeast for the beginning of the week and transitioned to north winds after a day of heavy rain on Wednesday. Tide was low in the morning but coming in resulting in a high around 1:00 PM. Tide began to fall for remainder of our fishing day.
Our Tan #2 Squimp dominated for permit and we also used white raghead crabs and a spawning shrimp variation that I tie with orange legs and of course yellow eyes. Snook were landed on natural colored toads and smaller EP style baitfish. Bonefish were happy to eat any small shrimp pattern #4 -#8.
Chef Felipe continued to deliver excellent dishes for our guests. One of the comments form guests was how excited they were to return to wonderful cuisine. Emmanuel and the rest of the staff were on standby to meet any special requests or needs from guests!
I am excited for this up coming week. We are joined by wonderful photographer Arian Stevens and his close friend Toby Nolan. While we have many (hundreds) of photos of guests and guides with fish I want to work to have an ESBL experience captured. Upon arriving yesterday Arian has already shot over 1000 photos and has yet to get out in the boat! We are excited to see his work and are also thrilled to share them with everyone once we get final product. This week is a small group that is all fishing as single anglers. For any single angler ESBL has the best value for time on the water. By the end of your fishing week here you will log over 48 hours standing on the bow searching flats. We are joined by new guests Cole and Robert Francis and have the pleasure of returning guests Clay Williams and Rich Kracum.
I hope everyone has a great week and please remember to check in with our friends at The Fly Shop to ask about our wonderful operation, we’d love to see you down here!
All my best and stay tuned for next week’s report!
Saludos desde el Caribe Mexicana